Iceland's Parliament has unanimously adopted the Foreign Minister's proposal to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Furthermore the Parliament agreed that the Optional Protocol to the Convention should also be ratified by the end of 2017. The Convention and the Optional Protocol were signed by Iceland on 30 March 2007, but their purpose is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.
"This is a milestone in the fight for the rights of people with disabilities. I am confident that the Convention encourages us to continue the good work which has preceded this agreement and to press for further legal amendments, so those with disabilities can enjoy equal human rights, "said Foreign Minister, Lilja Alfreðsdóttir.
The ratification will activate projects related to awareness-raising, training and education. It will also include Iceland in the monitoring system of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. A number of amendments have been made to Icelandic law in preparation for ratification of the convention but it calls for further amendments in order to bring Icelandic legislation fully in line with the Convention, including on elections, law protection and personalized assistance.